Chief Operations Officer
Prior to joining Cornerstone Hospitality, Craig has worked for Hilton hotels at all 4 of their core brands, including Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites and Hilton Garden Inn. Craig also had the distinct honor of opening the second Embassy Suites ever built, converting the first Homewood Suites and opening the world's first Hampton Inn & Suites located in Newport News, VA.
What do you like most about the hospitality business?
There are several things about this business that keep me motivated day in and day out. Despite the fact that this is basically the same business everywhere, having the ability to meet different guests from all parts of the country and the world is a very rewarding feeling. I take great pride in my team, watching them grow in their roles within the company and have had the pleasure of working for some of the best ownership groups one could ask for. I have been in this business since I was 14 years old growing up in Williamsburg, VA. In fact my first hospitality job was with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as a dishwasher at one of their food and beverage outlets.
Who would you say was your most influential leadership example?
This is an easy one for me. In 1984 right out of college I was hired by Debbie Feldman to help her open the second new build Embassy Suites Tyson's Corner, VA. Debbie taught me the business and instilled in me a work ethic that I follow to this day. The team at Tyson's Corner won several awards and the hotel was extremely profitable for our ownership. Debbie was one of those once in a life time managers that were always there if you needed her, always treated the employees with respect and never took credit for the hotels success. I was taught the three basic's from Debbie:
- No job is beneath us.
- Always put the guest first.
- Remember, we are here because our owners took a chance on us!
My other motivations are my faith in the Lord, to do the right thing every day and my family. Growing up, my father taught me the value of a hard day's work that I am passing on to my three children. I have been married to my wife Ruth now for 25 years and am in awe of her ability to balance family life, community volunteerism and her service on our local school board.
With more than 30 years of hospitality experience and working his way through the ranks to Vice President and Partner for a Chicago based hotel company, Craig has proven he has the ability to exceed ownerships expectations in an ever changing environment.